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A Shroom of One’s Own: The Hurricane Brings Hallucinogens

0 Written by: | Monday, Aug 29, 2011 12:00am

One productive effect of swampy hurricane weather, according to a story at The Huffington Post, is the abundant outcropping of mushrooms, especially the psilocybin-packed kind–also known as shrooms. (Because mushrooms multiply in moisture and are spread by wind, stormy weather spawns great gooey growth.)

Can’t say I’ve ever been psyched to ingest psilocybin, you?

The kids I knew in college who were into “shrooming” didn’t shower more than once a week, they wore long, smelly hair, jingle-bell-topped court jester hats and thick sandals built to hike in–though they were usually mild-mannered and intelligent, their aesthetic didn’t appeal to me, so I never considered trying psychedelic mushrooms. Besides, I like my mushrooms slathered in spaghetti sauce; the thought of a dinky dried-up mushroom dropped on the tongue never tempted.

To each his own spore, however. Whether you want to embrace the hallucinogenic effects of mushrooms or opt for the hold-the-visions, spaghetti-standard variety, take note: psychedelic mushrooms typically have bluish-gray stems, Dr. Suneil Jane, a naturopathic physician, told Huffington Post. Jane stressed that hallucinogenic mushrooms are actually pretty safe, but mushrooms in general can be toxic, therefore, it’s essential to have a mushroom expert on hand when you’re hand-picking. (Gray mold is one thing that indicates toxicity.) Fresh mushrooms are the very safest. “The optimal time to pick is right after the storm before the other elements can affect them,” Jane explained.

Last early fall, a friend and I searched local woods for mushrooms to cook with. We plucked some sad, old flaky ones which we bagged for the sport of it, only to discard them later. Maybe now is the time to hunt once again, one moist morning soon, before the mushrooms have a chance to spoil. I’ll seek the blue-stem-free variety, but it won’t bother me a bit if you pull the trippy, dream-weaving kind. Now that I understand they’re safe, I’d consider combining our finds in a chunky/surreal tomato paste. Please don’t wear your clunky, Velcro-strapping sandals to our dinner party, though–those things are a total buzz-kill.

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